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Prepare for the 2024 Season

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DraftKings recently launched a new best ball tournament with a big wrinkle: Only Weeks 1-4 count. This contest follows normal DK roster and scoring settings. Weeks 1 and 2 feature 12-team pods with the top-two teams in each group advancing. Week 3 is 12-team groups with one team advancing, and then the tournament concludes in Week 4 featuring the final 102 teams and crowning a winner.

This new tournament style throws a major wrench in what we’re used to with best ball strategy. Let’s dig into how our approach changes with a best ball tourney that concludes in Week 4.

 

VALUING ROOKIES VS. VETERANS

The data is clear that most rookies score fewer points early in the season. Many coaches prefer to slowly introduce their first-year players to the league or make them earn a bigger workload rather than immediately granting them a full-time role, even if it appears that the younger player is simply better than the veteran. Rashee Rice is perhaps the best example of this from last season; Andy Reid opted to play Skyy Moore and Justin Watson over Rice early on despite Rice clearly being their most efficient WR.

For top-five draft picks like Marvin Harrison and Malik Nabers, this may not matter, as their teams need them to immediately assume WR1 duties. But guys like Brian Thomas (Gabe Davis) and Keon Coleman (Curtis Samuel/Khalil Shakir) may be road-blocked to playing in 2-WR sets right away, although training camp will give us a better idea of where they stand playing time-wise. Furthermore, rookie QBs like J.J. McCarthy and Drake Maye may not even see the field in September (again, training camp will give us a better idea). They go from potential late-season heroes in best ball leagues to arguably undraftable in this format.

Conversely, aging veterans get a bump. Last year, we saw Adam Thielen get off to a ridiculously hot start before tailing off in the second half of the year. Those types of guys are viable flexes to begin the season but may tail off performance-wise and/or get replaced by a younger player later in the year.

 

INJURED PLAYERS

T.J. HockensonKeaton Mitchell, Nick Chubb, and potentially even Jonathon Brooks are all at least questionable for Week 1 (the first three are all more doubtful/out). Players who look like they could start the year on PUP are undraftable. Brooks (and players who end up getting dinged up during training camp) take significant hits due to the fact that they could be eased into action. Brooks, Mike Williams, and Kendrick Bourne are currently the three players who seem likely to suit up in Week 1 but may not be 100%; others will certainly join that list after tweaking a hamstring or otherwise suffering a minor injury in camp.

On the flip side, players such as Jerome Ford and Chuba Hubbard who benefit from injuries to their respective teammates become more desir

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